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Latest: Police reported concerns about kids before deaths

The Latest on the deaths of two young children (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Law enforcement officials say they called Arizona’s Department of Child Safety in early January to report their suspicions of child neglect or abuse involving a toddler and infant whose mother has been arrested in connection with their deaths.

Acting Police Chief Christian Ensley said Tuesday that his officers responded to a report of a theft at the home where the 20-year-old mother Brittany Velasquez was living then and were concerned enough by what they saw to call state child protection officials.

The state agency said it had received two past reports about the children, but never found evidence of child abuse or neglect and had no reason to remove the siblings from their mother’s custody.

Velasquez is being held with a $2 million bond on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder.

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10:20 a.m.

Arizona authorities say the mother of a baby and a toddler found dead in car seats has been has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in a statement identified the mother as Brittany Velasquez.

Authorities did not immediately provide information on how the 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl died and said that autopsies are being conducted.

The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that the bodies of the children were found late Monday night inside a vehicle at a home in Superior, a small town east of Phoenix.

The statement gives Velasquez’ age as 20 but jail records list her age as 21.

It’s not immediately known whether Velasquez has an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

The children’s names were not made public.

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9 a.m.

Authorities say a baby and a toddler have been found dead in car seats inside a vehicle in a rural Arizona community.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Navideh Forghani says the children found in the vehicle at a home in the town of Superior were 2 years old and 10 months old.

She said Tuesday there was no immediate information available on the circumstances of their deaths or if anyone had been arrested or detained.

Forghani says autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Superior is town of about 2,900 people 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Phoenix.

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